The Groundsman’s Shed


Keegan: We could have scored 7 or 8 against Tottenham by groundsman
March 30, 2008, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Kevin Keegan, Newcastle, Premier League

[Photo: BBC archives]

Normally I believe a negative comment about Newcastle is equivalent to kicking away a blind man’s stick, but in the English tradition of over egging that proverbial pudding, today King Kev says he believes his side could have scored “seven or eight” goals on Tottenham.  In reality, the team scored four, a goal for each for their beleaguered strike team, but at no point was the game a total romp in the mold of Manchester United on a good day.  

Continuing my small rant concerning the over-excited headlines following last week’s win, I believe Newcastle still have much to prove.  The team still resembles a rusty, dusty old cabinet in my gran’s attic: they need more than just a good wipe down- they may require a full resurfacing, plus a paint and stain job before they can truly shine and make anyone take notice in the Premier League (other than for their ability not to get relegated- which should be cause for the smallest and most grudging of celebrations).  In the presser Keegan mentioned talking with the current squad about getting “a few big summer signings”, which still may not be enough for the current squad to challenge for any hardware in the league. 

“Leave Beckham ALONE!”

I won’t be reclining on white bedsheets, wiping away my mascara, whilst lauding his career achievements and calling his detractors “bastards” any time soon, but the massive over-reaction to an international friendly and excited screams of “I’m bored!!!111” concerning David Beckham’s 100th cap from from the other side of the Atlantic have been pretty incredible. 

If you read any English newspaper over the past few days, you’d think Beckham was single handedly responsible for the loss to France, the mortgage rate crisis, and the failure of the British Empire.  He didn’t have a fantastic individual performance, but he wasn’t the worst player on the pitch by far- so I don’t understand the sneering toward his triple digit caps- something most of the current “heroes” of the national team will never achieve.  Clearly, I’m not the only one spitting up the media provided kool-aid, because the BBC’s Fan Player-Rater application shows fans voted him the best player in the England side for that match.  Numbers don’t often lie- so journos, and Guardian blog commenters- get over Becks.  You have a good coach, so trust his judgement.

Is Cristiano Ronaldo the Best Player in the World?

[Photo: AP/PA Martin Rickett]

That’s the topic going ’round on the boards and blogs I read through on a daily basis, and while the topic starter will usually say “Yeah, he’s different class, absolutely brilliant”, inevitably someone in the thread will say one of two things:

1) “You’re saying he’s the best based upon the notion that the Premier League IS the best league in the world, rather than the one with the most money.  He’s the best in his league, but without having seen football in other countries week in and week out, it’s unfair to make that judgement.”

2) “How do you define ‘best’?  Does it mean the ability to score lots of goals? Does it mean the player has more entertainment value on the field? Does it mean he creates the best opportunities for his teammates?”

What’s your take on the question? Is it totally irrelevant in the world outside of the context of English football- or does CR7 have a claim on the “Best in the World” distinction?

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You raise excellent points. First there have to be serious doubts about a league where the weather is so bad and the refereeing so inclined toward physical football. And since the league is primarily English you are also confined by the issue of language in terms of the discussion around the best players. For instance, the project I have started, thebestplayerintheworld.com , is limited strictly to English language search results. And second, as you rightly say, how do you define “best”. It’s very difficult. Having said all that, we’ve decided to simplify the process and are simply searching the web for each occurance of the term “best player in the world”. We’ll see where we end up at the end of 2008. I don’t think our process will be much inferior to that of FIFA (World Player of the Year) Or France Football (Ballon d’Or)…

Comment by Best Player

Ronaldo is the best player in the world!

He does more to bring his team success than any other player for any other team in a top league! Simple really.

Question marks over primarily how well he does against the big teams and the best defences are of course there (I don’t think i’ve ever seen him play well against Arse/Liv?Chel or in the latter stages of the CL) But they don’t change the simple fact posted above!

Comment by Tote Football Pro

Interesting study BestPlayer.

ToteFootball, is that statistically proven based upon a study of all country/region’s top level leagues? If not, then I’m afraid it’s not really a “simple fact” and is actually more of a “strident opinion” (which I happen to agree with). 😉

Comment by groundsman




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